ARCHIVED - NRC Annual Report 2007 - 2008
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Table of contents
- ARCHIVED – Annual Report (PDF, 2.2 MB)
- Financial Statement Discussion and Analysis
- ARCHIVED – Financial Statements (PDF, 1.1 MB)
The financial statements of the NRC have been audited by the Auditor General of Canada, the independent auditor for the Government of Canada. Signed in Ottawa on June 13, 2008 by Dr. Pierre Coulombe (President) and Daniel Gosselin (Chief Financial Officer).
The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's leading resource for science and technology (S&T) and innovation with a business focus on:
- improving the social and economic well-being of Canadians;
- fostering industrial and community innovation and growth through technology and industry support; and
- supplying excellence and leadership in research and development (R&D).
Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage through NRC
NRC is moving forward with an important role in helping to achieve the goals of the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, announced by the Prime Minister in May 2007. The new federal S&T Strategy sets out a multi-year framework to create a competitive advantage for Canada through S&T. It focuses on the principles of promoting world-class excellence, focusing on priorities, fostering partnerships and enhancing accountability. It sets out a plan to foster three distinct S&T advantages for Canada:
- Entrepreneurial Advantage - translating knowledge into commercial applications for greater wealth generation and quality of life;
- Knowledge Advantage – being at the leading edge of important developments that generate health, environmental, societal and economic benefits;
- People Advantage – attracting highly skilled people and educated people for a flexible workforce that can compete globally.
NRC's own Strategy to 2011, Science at Work for Canada, is consistent with these principles and objectives and establishes NRC as an important vehicle to help deliver on the new federal S&T Strategy. NRC is enhancing Canada's Entrepreneurial Advantage by meeting the needs of industry for targeted research and by transferring its discoveries to the private sector. To support Canada's Knowledge Advantage, NRC is strategically contributing to the four research priority areas identified in the federal S&T Strategy: environmental science and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communication technologies (ICT). NRC will anticipate and respond to important national priorities by engaging innovation system participants in multi-stakeholder collaborations and developing key competencies that will prepare NRC to support Canada's current and future S&T priorities. Lastly, but critically important, NRC is supporting the People Advantage, by attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers needed to thrive in a global economy. Through establishing entities such as the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the NRC Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH), for example, NRC is helping to build strong multidisciplinary teams of international calibre researchers to deliver leading-edge work for Canada.
- R&D in Key Sectors and Areas Critical to Canada's Future
- Create value through R&D in sectors with the greatest impact for Canada
- Invest in leading-edge research, including increased horizontal and multi-disciplinary R&D
- Build sustainability through research in areas critical to Canada's future
- Support Canadian industry and research community through codes, standards, and investments in large-scale R&D infrastructure
- Community Technology Clustering Initiatives
- Contribute to the economic viability of Canada's communities
- Help connect industry and key innovation players
- Focus on cluster growth to create critical mass and build community innovation capacity
- Develop a medium for regional delivery of national initiatives
- Integrated Industry Support that Engages Key Players
- Increase innovation capacity of SMEs and help industry manage risks as new products are developed and marketed
- Offer S&T information and intelligence to industry
- Offer comprehensive commercialization support, including technology transfer and IP management
- Program Management for a Sustainable & Agile Organization
- NRC Strategy: Science at Work for Canada
- Address Management Accountability Framework commitments
- Continue to address recommendations of the Auditor General of Canada
NRC has unique attributes that shape its operating environment, including:
- A national S&T infrastructure positioned to improve Canada's innovation capacity in existing and emerging fields of research, build networks for researchers and businesses, train highly qualified personnel, create new technology-based companies and jobs and transfer knowledge and technology to Canadian companies.
- A core strength of over 4,000 talented and dedicated people, 17 research institutes, 15 industrial partnership facilities, the Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) and two technology centres.
- The ability to help companies move from discoveries in the laboratory to the development, prototyping and commercialization of these ideas and technologies for the global marketplace.
- The capacity to adopt an integrated approach that brings research, technologies and industrial links together to provide access to international S&T infrastructures.
- The skills to manage research projects towards specific outcomes as well as long-term goals.
- The capability to bring together multi-disciplinary research teams to tackle issues of national importance.
- The ability to put together national programs for delivery in regions across the country.
The following section summarizes NRC'S overall performance in relation to its 2007-08 priorities.
1. R&D in Key Sectors and Areas Critical to Canada's Future
Research and innovation are critical to Canada's future economic growth and an improved quality of life for Canadians. As Canada's foremost R&D agency, NRC concentrates its efforts on two vital elements of R&D excellence: quality and relevance. In 2007-08, NRC played a key role in helping Canada reach its full potential by performing research in fields that are of current and future importance from a social and economic perspective, in line with the federal S&T Strategy.
NRC's R&D provided Canadian companies with increased access to new technologies through patents and licences, creating an Entrepreneurial Advantage for Canada. In 2007-08, NRC R&D led directly to the creation of intellectual property (IP), with 196 patents applied for during the year and 69 patents obtained from applications made in previous years. NRC also signed 98 new technology licensing agreements with industry, contributing to the flow of innovation into business applications. These activities contributed to the program activity's expected result of advancement of new technology-based companies. NRC researchers published technical reports, presented papers in conference proceedings and produced technical reports for clients during the year, disseminating knowledge for innovation and long-term value creation for Canadian industry and the public at large.
NRC's leadership standing in new and emerging research domains remained high. To contribute to Canada's S&T Knowledge Advantage, NRC conducted research in areas of economic and social importance. From an economic perspective, investment and research in aerospace technology such as composite material aircraft components and turbine engine icing certification has kept Canada among the world leaders in this sector. Nanotechnology R&D at NRC resulted in advances to extend the service life of concrete and established novel approaches to nano-engineering of concrete structures. Improved materials, catalysts and advanced modeling and testing methods continued to solidify Canada's position at the leading-edge of fuel cell technology.
NRC also completed R&D activities that contributed to the well-being of Canadians. Genome research is ongoing in areas such as food production (e.g., productivity of canola crops) and treating of human and animal disease (e.g., cancer identification, diagnostic tools for heart attack patients, controlling human cholesterol levels). NRC researchers also conducted research in the areas of bioactives and nutraceuticals. Extracts and bioactives from such plants as cranberries, blueberries, hemp, hops and poppies were screened and evaluated for anti-oxidant, neuro-regeneration and anti-cancer effects. Novel techniques using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology were developed and tested with positive results. These will eventually lead to less invasive diagnosis of breast cancer. R&D work was also completed to develop analytical methods for rapid and highly sensitive detection of chemical warfare agents, toxic agrochemicals and other toxins, to enhance the security of Canadians.
Collaborating with industry and academia to further scientific frontiers was also a cornerstone activity for NRC during the reporting period. Major contributions in astronomy, sub-atomic particle physics and neutron beam experiments were made.
NRC also continued to work with international standards bodies, ensuring compatibility of Canada's National Metrology Standards with those around the globe, assisting in the development of new measurement science (e.g. nanotechnology) and determining standards and methods of measurement that impact directly on the ability of Canadian firms to trade internationally.
2. Community Technology Clustering Initiatives
In support of Canada's S&T Knowledge Advantage, NRC continued to explore and develop innovative models for S&T partnership and collaboration between federal departments and agencies and other sectors. During the reporting period, NRC was involved in the ongoing development of 11 technology clusters across the country. Technology clusters are community partnerships focused on building competitive advantage through research and innovation. NRC helped clusters develop technology road maps and fostered alliances that are being used to transfer technology to the cluster participants. These clusters focus on areas such as life sciences, information technology and e-business, ocean technology, aluminium transformation, photonics, biomedical technologies, plants for health and wellness, nanotechnology, fuel cell and hydrogen technology, nutrisciences and health, and sustainable infrastructure. Priority 2 contributes to the achievement of NRC's Strategic Outcome by fostering innovation and economic growth through community partnerships.
To contribute to increasing the impact of federal business R&D assistance programs, NRC-IRAP engaged and linked regional groups, through development of technical, financial and business networks that are the foundation of technology clusters. Over $1.5 million was contributed to 45 innovation support organizations within six of the technology clusters in which NRC is involved and nearly $1.3 million in non-repayable contributions were made to 30 individual firms within the clusters, toward technological research projects. Examples of cluster successes during the year include a $40 million initial public offering (IPO) of IMRIS Inc., a spin-off of NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD) within the Manitoba Biomedical cluster and filing of a patent on a biomarker for prostate cancer jointly between NRC-IIT and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, from the New Brunswick information technology cluster.
NRC also continued to develop, build and operate Industry Partnership Facilities (IPFs) across Canada, providing unique facilities that are workplaces for collaborative research and incubation of new firms, including NRC spin-offs. IPFs also serve as resource locations for small- and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and new enterprises. NRC currently has 15 IPF locations across the country, supporting 140 incubating firms in 2007-08, an increase of 10% from the previous reporting period.
3. Integrated Industry Support that Engages Key Players
In 2007-08, the NRC Technology and Industry Support (TIS) portfolio worked closely with the NRC R&D portfolio to support the Government of Canada's commercialization priority under the Entrepreneurial Advantage. Activities to increase the commercialization of research include technology licensing, provision of pre-commercialization assistance, mentoring and provision of business intelligence, access to national and international networks, knowledge dissemination and expertise, as well as helping companies create new products and/or technologies.
Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) from NRC utilized in-house developed capabilities to capture competitive technical intelligence to support Canadian industry. This facilitated better decision making on technology investments and research directions for NRC clients. An assessment completed during the year indicated that over the previous five years, NRC-IRAP client firms' sales grew an average of 28% and overall firm employment grew 30%, with company assets growing by 15%.
NRC provides access to S&T information and intelligence to industry, with sophisticated tools and services to accelerate discovery, innovation and commercialization within Canada's research and innovation community. During the reporting period, NRC completed 485,000 document orders for clients in the academic, health, government and industry sectors. A new suite of services, under the Discover banner, was launched to provide Canadians with faster and easier access to over 15 million S&T articles in the collection. The NRC Virtual Library provided NRC institute researchers with desktop access to licensed electronic journals and databases, with 258,000 site visits accumulated during the year. NRC continued to publish scientific journals, which have over 13,900 subscribers in 101 countries. In 2007-08, 6,192 authors were published in 16 respected, peer-reviewed journals. NRC published five books during the year, with another nine in production.
4. Program Management for a Sustainable Organization
Performing leading-edge R&D and supporting Canadian industry to become more technology intensive and innovative requires state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, as well as highly skilled scientists, engineers, technicians and other professionals. During the reporting period, NRC established its corporate business plan for the next three fiscal years. The plan outlines an approach to enhance the financial flexibility of NRC, while ensuring financial and non-financial resources are aligned in support of the organization's priority programs. NRC initiated a new organizational resource allocation process during the fourth quarter of 2007-08, requiring all institutes, programs and branches to develop and submit business plans annually. Funding of initiatives was based on the alignment of individual business plans with the corporate plan and the requirement to help NRC deliver on its priorities and the federal S&T Strategy.
Significant investments in S&T infrastructure were also made during the year. Approximately $5.7 million was invested to address the most pressing infrastructure needs, focusing on health and safety, as well as asset life-cycle management. NRC also continued to invest in internal audit capacity, to assist in maintaining accountability across its program delivery. Five internal audits were conducted during the period and six more initiated. The independent Audit, Evaluation and Risk Management Committee, a sub-committee of NRC Council, which is comprised of members external to NRC, reviewed these reports. From an external audit perspective, NRC is currently addressing the recommendations provided by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG).
In 2007-08, NRC played a key role in helping Canada reach its full potential by performing research in fields that are of current and future importance to the Canadian economy and that addressed important public and Government priorities. To achieve this, NRC worked in collaboration with industry, university and government partners in Canada and abroad. Creating value from knowledge, providing a national S&T infrastructure, maintaining and fostering international alliances and supporting the commercialization of federal R&D are integral parts of NRC's business.
A new patent is a key step in the continuum from discovery to innovation. The strategic management of IP contributes to the innovative capacity of firms. In 2007-08, NRC applied for 196 new patents and secured 69 patents from applications made in previous years. Forty-nine percent of these were issued in the U.S., an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognized measure of competitiveness. Based on a 2003 benchmarking study of best practices in IP management, conducted internally, NRC changed its approach to screen disclosures early; conduct market research and patent analysis assessments; and regularly review its IP portfolio to generate, identify and develop more "high potential commercial value" IP.
Licensing Agreements and Revenues
By negotiating a licence agreement to use NRC technology, an industrial partner endorses the merit of NRC research and these agreements show a direct flow of innovation into business application. NRC entered into 98 new licence agreements in 2007-08 and IP licensing revenue was $9.47 million.
Just over $4.1 million of IP revenue in 2007-08 was attributed directly to the Meningitis-C vaccine developed by the NRC Institute for Biological Sciences (NRC-IBS). The Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC) received approximately $2.0 million from several provinces for the use of information published as part of the National Building and Fire codes and used in individual provincial codes.
Some other examples of NRC technology licensed to industry in 2007-08 include:
- NRC Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC-IAR) signed a licensing agreement with Standard Aero Limited for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods and associated component life assessment techniques, used in gas turbine engines. This licence increased the capabilities of a medium to large Canadian firm in supplying services to the international engine repair market.
- The SIGDERS Dynamic (testing) Roofing Facility Unit was licensed by NRC-IRC to Les Laboratoires Shermont in April 2007.
- NRC Industrial Materials Institute (NRC-IMI) licensed low-coherence light interferometry scanner technology to Biocad Inc., for facilitating the installation of dental implants. Biocad has grown in both revenue and employment, and has recently signed several marketing agreements with U.S and European partners.
- Tecnar Automation Ltd., one of the first NRC-IMI spin-offs, was granted a licence for technology to conduct real-time analysis for improving the quality of galvanized steel plates used in the automotive industry.
- NRC-IAR transferred AMTC RTM technology capabilities to Delastek, a Canadian SME. This transfer permitted Delastek to become the first RTM aerospace grade parts manufacturer in Canada, moving from the production of recreational vehicle parts to aerospace components.
Patents, licence agreements and collaborative research agreements can be used to help demonstrate the commercialization outcomes of NRC's R&D and their contribution to an Entrepreneurial Advantage for Canada.
NRC Spinoffs or New Ventures
When NRC develops a technology with particularly strong market potential and there is no Canadian receptor capacity identified, entirely new companies may be created to commercialize the technology. These new companies create innovative products and services for the global marketplace and new jobs for Canadians. In 2007-08, the total new companies created since 1995 remains at 68, accounting for approximately 552 full-time jobs and an estimated $470 million in cumulative investment, an 8% increase from last year. In 2007, investment from all sources into NRC new companies was $87 million.
Publications in Refereed Journals, Proceedings and Technical Papers
Scientific papers in leading peer-reviewed publications and conference proceedings are traditional internationally recognized measures of research quality and relevance. They are also a key tool for the dissemination of knowledge and the eventual creation of value for Canada in the long-term. NRC has consistently produced over a thousand peer-reviewed publications each year over the last five years. In 2007-08, researchers published 1,330 articles in refereed journals. NRC researchers also presented 821 papers at S&T conferences and produced 1,541 technical reports for clients.
Research Networks and Centres of Excellence
NRC's research excellence is also evident in the involvement of its researchers in multi-researcher networks and centres of excellence as well as the number of externally funded, peer-reviewed research grant proposals. In 2007-08, NRC researchers participated in 118 research networks, held 217 positions on editorial boards of scientific journals and were appointed to 473 adjunct professorships in Canadian universities. In 2007-08, NRC researchers and their university partners received 207 grants from Canadian granting agencies (such as NSERC and Genome Canada). The total of these grants, over the lifetime of the projects, equalled $29.3 million.
International Collaborative Agreements
In addition to working with university partners, NRC signed 407 new collaborative research agreements with Canadian partners worth a total of $159 million in 2007-08. The total value over the lifetime of these agreements grew to $493 million. The number and value of collaborative agreements signed during a year are indicators that foretell increased research activity. NRC's Canadian partners invest $3.10 for every dollar NRC invests.
Participation in international projects and consortia exposes Canadian students, researchers and companies to the best-in-the-world capabilities. In 2007-08, NRC signed 118 new collaborative research agreements with international partners worth $109 million. The total number of active international collaborative agreements is similar to last year's number, with a total value over the lifetime of the agreements of close to $174 million. NRC's international partners invest $3.41 for every dollar NRC invests.
The NRC 2007-08 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) provides additional highlights.
NRC's Link to the Government of Canada Outcome Areas
NRC's Research and Development Program Activity contributes to an innovative and knowledge-based economy by undertaking, assisting and promoting scientific and industrial research. NRC is the federal government's primary provider of research and research facilities. It pursues cutting-edge R&D that supports the growth of Canadian industry and uncovers solutions to national challenges in health, climate change, the environment, clean energy, and other fields. NRC identifies Canada's S&T opportunities and adapts its scientific research and development activities to meet national needs and priorities.
An innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through research and development, technology commercialization and industry support.
NRC's Technology and Industry Support Program Activity contributes to strong economic growth through its industry and commercialization support. NRC provides Canadian companies with access to the program's leading-edge knowledge and technology through collaborative agreements and partnerships; and opportunities to commercialize products and services by licensing the use of NRC's patents. Leading-edge technology opens new markets to Canadian companies and provides them with a competitive advantage in the world market. A strong domestic economy benefits Canadians.
In addition, NRC contributes indirectly to the Government of Canada outcome areas: A Clean and Healthy Environment and Healthy Canadians. Environmental stewardship is driven through policy and technological capability. NRC conducts leading-edge research in alternative energy technologies, such as fuel cells and hydrogen and contributes to advanced and efficient manufacturing within the automotive and aerospace sectors. R&D activities centering on oceans and bioremediation contributed toward a sustainable healthy environment for Canadians and the entire world. NRC contributes to improving the health of Canadians through R&D activities targeted at nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and innovative medical diagnostics and treatment protocols. Harnessing the characteristics of plants for improving health is a growing field and NRC research is helping Canadian companies along this path.
- Council Members
- Senior Management
- Branches and Offices Reporting to the President
- Organizational Chart
- NRC Research Institutes, Programs and Technology Centres
President (and Chair of Council)
National Research Council Canada
International Institute of Telecommunications
Research and Technology
NOVA Chemicals Corporation
Senior Geotechnical Engineering Specialist
Golder Associates Ltd
Scientific Director and CEO,
Cape Breton University
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canadian Association of Income Funds
Business Professor (Emeritus)
University of Alberta
Assistant Dean (External), Chief/Chair of Paediatric Surgery and Assistant Professor, Paediatric Orthopaedics
University of Western Ontario
MacArthur Group, Inc.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Eva Mah Borsato
Intellectual Capital Corporation Inc.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor
University of Ottawa
Former Vice-President, Technology Canada
Vancouver, British Colombia
BESCO Holdings 2002 Inc.
Rothesay, New Brunswick
University of Lethbridge
Head of Finance and Corporate Development, Secretary and Treasurer
Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vice-President Corporate Services
Don Di Salle
Vice-President Research Life Sciences
Vice-President Research Physical Sciences
Vice-President Technology and Industry Support
Branches and Offices Reporting to the President
Executive Offices and Secretary General
Secretary General: Marielle Piché
General Inquiries: 613-998-4579
Chief Financial Officer: Daniel Gosselin
General Inquiries: 613-990-7471
Human Resources Branch
Director General (Acting): Isabelle Gingras
General Inquiries: 613-993-9136
NRC Internal Audit
Director: Jayne Hinchliff-Milne
General Inquiries: 613-949-7689
NRC Legal Services
Director: Louis Robayo
General Inquiries: 613-993-0035
NRC Research Institutes, Programs and Technology Centres
Under the Direction of the Vice-President Research Life Sciences
Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI) – Montreal, QC
Director General: Michel Desrochers
General Inquiries: 514-496-6100
Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD) – Winnipeg, MB
Director General: Ian Smith
General Inquiries: 204-983-7692
Institute for Biological Sciences (NRC-IBS) – Ottawa, ON
Director General: Jim Richards
General Inquiries: 613-993-5812
Institute for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB) – Halifax, NS
Director General: Joan Kean-Howie
General Inquiries: 902-426-8332
Plant Biotechnology Institute (NRC-PBI) – Saskatoon, SK
Director General: Jerome Konecsni
General Inquiries: 306-975-5575
Under the Direction of the Vice-President Research Physical Sciences
Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (NRC-HIA) – Victoria and Penticton, BC
Director General: Gregory Fahlman
General Inquiries: 250-363-0001
Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology (NRC-ICPET) – Ottawa, ON
Director General: Janusz Lusztyk
General Inquiries: 613-993-4041
Institute for Information Technology (NRC-IIT) – Ottawa, ON, Gatineau, QC, Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, NB
Director General: Christian Couturier
General Inquiries: 506-444-6132
Institute for Microstructural Sciences (NRC-IMS) – Ottawa, ON
Director General: Marie D'Iorio
General Inquiries: 613-993-4583
Institute for National Measurement Standards (NRC-INMS) – Ottawa, ON
Director General: Jim McLaren
General Inquiries: 613-998-7018
National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) – Edmonton, AB
Director General: Nils Petersen
General Inquiries: 780-492-8888
Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (NRC-SIMS) – Ottawa and Chalk River, ON
Director General: Danial Wayner
General Inquiries: 613-991-5419
Under the Direction of the Vice-President Engineering
Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC-IAR) – Ottawa, ON and Montreal, QC
Director General: Jerzy Komorowski
General Inquiries: 613-993-5738
Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI) – Vancouver, BC
Director General: Maja Veljkovic
General Inquiries: 604-221-3099
Industrial Materials Institute (NRC-IMI) – Boucherville and Saguenay, QC
Director General: Blaise Champagne
General Inquiries: 450-641-5000
Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT) – St. John's, NL
Director General: Mary Williams
General Inquiries: 709-772-6001
Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC) – Ottawa, ON and Regina, SK
Director General: Bob Bowen
General Inquiries: 613-993-2607
Canadian Hydraulics Centre (NRC-CHC) – Ottawa, ON
Executive Director: John Coleman
General Inquiries: 613-993-2417
Centre for Surface Transportation Technology (NRC-CSTT) – Ottawa, ON
General Manager: Paul Treboutat
General Inquiries: 613-998-9365
Under the Direction of the Vice-President Technology and Industry Support
Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) – Ottawa, ON with offices across Canada
Director General: Pam Bjornson
General Inquiries: 1-800-668-1222
Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) – Ottawa, ON with offices across Canada
Director General: Tony Rahilly
General Inquiries: 1-877-994-4727
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